Although people previously believed that children exposed to different languages would not realize that both languages were different and that they would even fuse them together, a research published by Thieme Publishers concluded that children do not become confused, because they can develop two separate phonological, lexical, and grammatical systems.
During the language development stage, babies are able to learn not one, but two languages. More brain areas are activated in this process —including the prefrontal cortex and the orbitofrontal cortex, which are responsible for the executive function.
If you are able to provide your children with access to another language, they will have the following advantages:
- Their executive function is improved, because children acquire the ability to modify tasks and solve problems with greater ease.
- Their metalinguistic skills are enhanced; those skills allow us to understand language and how we use it.
- The neural connections in their brains are increased, therefore improving concentration.
- The door to a higher cultural level is opened for them, as they become aware of the richness of other countries and their customs.
A study carried out by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) concluded that, if you want to acquire a grammatical knowledge level equal to that of a native speaker, the best option is to start learning that language before you are 10 years old.
SOURCES: Center on the Developing Child — Harvard University; National Library of Medicine (USA); Thieme Publishers; and the American Academy of Pediatrics.